Daniel Tosh Is Really Offensive And Really Funny

by Noiz 26. February 2015 13:23

Daniel Tosh Is Really Offensive And Really Funny

Daniel Tosh launches “The Great Nor’Easter Tour Of 2015” on June 9 at the Collins Center for the Arts in Orono, Maine.  The tour culminates June 27 at the Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, New York.  In total, the funny man will visit 16 cities in the northeast corner of the country.

Fans should also look for Daniel Tosh concerts in Albany, Providence, and Buffalo.

Tosh’s stand-up act is so popular that I found three articles about the comic adding shows to his itinerary:

>>Daniel Tosh Adds Second Rochester Show
>>Comedian Daniel Tosh adds third Halifax show
>>Daniel Tosh Adds Second Show at Hershey Theatre, 6/26

The host of Comedy Central’s popular “Tosh.0” considers himself a stand-up comedian first and then a television host.  Tosh is very protective of his comedy routine—"I never want to cannibalize my act.”  He loves trying out new material and doesn’t like to repeat jokes.

Fans of Tosh, which mostly consist of college-age comedy aficionados, know how funny he can be.   Each week, Tosh.0 is seen by millions of people (a lot for a cable program). 

For those unfamiliar with both his stand-up and his television program, Tosh is likely the poster boy for offensive jokes.  In 2012, at one of his comedy shows, Tosh joked about rape.  A woman in the audience yelled at the comic that that the topic isn’t funny.  Tosh reportedly replied to her: “Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by, like, five guys right now?” 

The heckler, who was also a blogger, posted the above account on her site.  The owner of the comedy club contradicted the blogger’s story.  Apparently, Tosh didn’t joke that she should be raped but that she had been raped—a distinction without a difference to some critics.

If you’re familiar with comedians like Jim Norton, Patton Oswalt, and Doug Stanhope the above incident barely induces a shrug.  For those ignorant on the current clime of comedy, the episode, especially the inaccurate version, left an indelible impression and permanently tarnished Tosh’s reputation.

Detractors immediately charged Tosh with being a talentless hack that has to resort to shock tactics in order to be funny.  That assessment of Tosh couldn’t be further from the truth.

Nothing seems to be taboo for Tosh but that’s not a judgment of his competency but an observation of what it means to be a comedian.  Comics are supposed to tackle taboos.  They’re supposed to push limits and stretch boundaries. 

As for “crossing a line” or “there are some subjects you shouldn’t joke about” if those cute little axioms are carried out to their logical conclusions no one could make a joke about anything. 

After all, the chicken crossing the road may be insensitive to those who’ve experienced auto accidents—not to mention that it’s downright insulting to poultry.

Opponents should realize that the 39-year-old comic, who’s been in the business for nearly 20 years, and whose television show will run for at least eight seasons, would have been out of the industry long ago if his entire act consisted of nothing more than making crass and insensitive jokes.

To highlight the comic’s substance, let’s look at a tirade from the current season of Tosh. 0.   This rant is about the New England Patriots, more precisely how much he hates the team. 

I selected this bit to analyze because sports are somewhat of a specialty and therefore easy to discern if someone is speaking intelligently or out of their you-know-what.

Tosh is a Miami Dolphins fan and therefore legally bound to hate the Patriots.  Ranting against a sports team is easy to do if you stick with words like “suck” and stoop to tactics like questioning a player’s sexuality or accusing their mothers of infidelities. 

Tosh did not do that—well, he did make an Aaron Hernandez sodomy joke and a Robert Kraft cradle-robbing quip.  Instead, he made several poignant and witty observations…

>>“Here’s how Belichick Patriots’ will be remembered: the tuck rule, Spy Gate and Deflate Gate.”

Well, that and four Super Bowl titles, but yes, those events will stick with Belichick for a long time.

>>“Brady had one good year lobbing it up to Randy Moss and every other season he’s been a game manager.  He’s Trent Dilfer with hair plugs.”

I think Brady is a little bit better than that but he is slightly overrated.  He’s extremely accurate, and knows his offense, but you pressure him and he’s average at best.  Where I think Brady is underrated is his toughness and competitive spirit. 

>>“If the Patriots weren’t in such a sh*tty division you wouldn’t have such a cake walk to get into the playoffs.”

That statement is 100 percent accurate.  For the last decade and a half, the other teams in the Patriots division—Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, and New York Jets—have, for the most part, rolled over for Brady and his bunch.

>>“If football is a game of inches then anyone in your organization cheating, even a single time, taints everything for that point on.”

This is the most astute and sagacious line of Tosh’s histrionics.  Agree or disagree with the statement, the comment makes you think.

The best part of Tosh’s anti-Patriots bombast is how he finished it.  He wondered, out loud, if Pats fans think he’s too afraid to say what he just said to their “blotchy, alcoholic, racist face(s)?”  He answered his own rhetorical question by announcing “The Great Nor’Easter Tour of 2015.”

By the way, Tosh will perform in Boston on June 19.

Tosh’s act is offensive but it’s also very funny. 

That’s not what detractors need to remember though. 

As Steve Martin said, “comedy isn’t pretty.”   The art of telling jokes is not for the faint of heart.  It’s the comic’s job to say things we wouldn’t normally say and to make us laugh at things we normally wouldn’t laugh it. 

If you can’t take that then don’t go see Tosh or any other comic for that matter.

If you can, then you’ll thoroughly enjoy Tosh’s act.

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ACDC Is A Hot Commodity On Secondary Market And Here’s Why

by Noiz 23. February 2015 14:04

ACDC Is A Hot Commodity On Secondary Market And Here’s Why

The North American leg of AC/DC’s “Rock or Bust World Tour” begins Aug. 22 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.  It ends Sept. 28 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.  Australia’s top rock export has 13 concerts scheduled for Canada and the United States. 

Fans should look for AC/DC at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford (Aug. 26), Wrigley Field in Chicago (Sept. 15), and AT&T Park in San Francisco (Sept. 25).

Even though the start of the leg is months away, tickets are already fetching top dollar on the secondary ticket market.

Now, the secondary ticket market fluctuates, and if you’re reading this article in June prices may be significantly different.  Still, the following information illustrates the popularity of AC/DC tickets.

The average price of an AC/DC ticket on the secondary ticket market is more than $255. 

Tickets for the band’s gig in Edmonton are selling for more than $573.  Tickets to AC/DC’s Vancouver, B.C. concert are averaging more than $560.  Those are the leg’s two most expensive shows.

The cheapest AC/DC tickets are to the leg’s opening concert at Gillette Stadium.  Tickets to that show are averaging just under $206.

On eBay, four tickets to the AC/DC tour stop in San Francisco are priced at $41,600 or best offer.  I’d imagine the price tag is purposely high to grab attention and the four ducats will actually sell for “best offer.”

It should be noted that four AC/DC tickets to their performance at Wrigley Field sold for $2,750 on the aforementioned internet auction site.  If you do the math, that’s $687.50 a ticket. 

The two eBay examples confirm what I’m been writing about and that’s tickets to the upcoming AC/DC “Rock or Bust” tour are selling for a hefty price.

There are many reasons why AC/DC’s 2015 trek is heating up the secondary ticket market… 

>>Although the band turned 40 in 2013, they will be celebrating their 40th Anniversary this year.

>>AC/DC is touring to support their 15th internationally released studio album, Rock or Bust.

>>AC/DC hasn’t toured since 2008 and that tour, the “Black Ice World Tour,” was the fourth highest-grossing concert tour of all-time.  It raked in more than $440 million.

>>AC/DC is planning on visiting fewer cities in North America then it did the last time around thus increasing demand.

Of course, there are several factors working against the band.

>>This is the first tour without Malcolm Young.  The rhythm guitarist is being replaced by nephew Stevie Young.  Malcolm had to retired due to dementia.  AC/DC without Malcolm Young is like the Rolling Stones without Charlie Watts or The Who without Keith Moon and John Entwistle. 

>>Drummer Phil Rudd (1975 to 1983 and 1994 to 2015) is being replaced by former drummer Chris Slade (1989 to 1994).  Rudd is battling legal problems in Australia.  His problems stem from drug possession charges and allegedly trying to have someone murdered.

>>Rock or Bust has been certified gold and it debuted at number three on the Billboard 200.  It sold 172,000 copies during its first week out.  That’s a good showing for a young rock band but not a good showing for Rock and Roll Hall of Famers and a deplorable effort compared to their last release, Black Ice.  Black Ice went straight to number one in 29 countries.  It sold 193,000 on its first day of release in the United States alone!  Black Ice was the world’s second bestselling album of 2008 (number one was Coldplay’s Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends).

The main reason AC/DC tickets are selling for a small fortune has nothing to do with album sales, the group’s membership, or where the band is scheduled to perform.

The main reason AC/DC tickets are so expensive is something few publications want to admit.  They don’t want to upset current rock and roll acts.

Rock fans are willing to spend more to see AC/DC in concert because there’s no one waiting to take their place.  None of the younger rock bands are even close to taking their place.  Rock bands capable of selling out large arenas are a dying breed.

Of the top 20 grossing concert tours of all-time, only one belongs to an act that wasn’t from the first half of the 1980s or before.  One Direction, who released their first album in 2011, owns the 13th highest grossing concert tour of all-time.

Who knows if 1D, who is anything but a rock band, will be able to do the same thing in a year or two much less four decades.

The top 20 grossing concert tours of all-time are represented by fourteen acts (some acts are on the list multiple times).  Of those fourteen acts, four started in the 1960s, four started in the 1970s, and five trace their origins between 1980 and 1984.

Also, of those 14 acts, nine are considered bona fide rock and rollers.

Here’s even more proof that the current generations of rock artists aren’t even close to launching a tour that rivals AC/DC… 

Of the top 20 grossing concert tours of the 2000s, only four were by acts that started in the 1990s or beyond.  Those acts were Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Britney Spears, and Justin Timberlake.  None of them belong to the rock genre and none cracked the top 13.  McGraw and Hill toured together.

Things get a little better for current pop artists when one looks at the top 20 grossing concert tours of the 2010s but not for rockers. 

While no current artist makes it into the top five of the current decade, the list does contain eleven acts from the 1990s and beyond—we’re talking artists like Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Pink, Katy Perry, and Taylor Swift.

Rock acts comprise six of the first eight spots, but only two of the final twelve—Metallica at #12 and Bon Jovi at #14.

This list will obviously change before the decade is over.  Fleetwood Mac and The Who are both in the middle of huge jaunts.

U2’s upcoming arena tour will more than likely make the top 20 and one has to figure The Rolling Stones have at least one more epic trek in them. 

That will probably push several pop singers off the list but one has to ask where is the next generation of rock stars?

Where are Radiohead, The Black Keys, Jack White, Wilco, and The Kings of Leon?  Heck, why hasn’t Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day, and Weezer made the list?  They’re nowhere to be found.

That’s why people are paying an arm and a leg to see a forty-year-old rock band in concert.  It might be the last chance they’ll ever have to see a big-time rock group perform a big-time concert at a big-time venue. 

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Train Fans Are Derailing The Band

by Noiz 12. February 2015 19:23

Train Fans Are Derailing The Band

If you like catchy melodies and clever lyrics you’re probably a Train fan.

If you think Pat Monahan looks like a Greek God you’re probably a Train fan.

If you’re white, in your thirties or forties, and you’ve purchased wine from somewhere other than a grocery store, you’re probably a Train fan.

If you’ve dressed up like a mermaid and attended a Train concert you’re not only a fan but you’re the type of fan the band needs more of.

This summer, Train is departing on a 42-date tour of North America.  Named after the band’s seventh studio album, “Picasso at the Wheel Summer Tour” begins May 21 at the Sleep Train Amphitheatre in Marysville, California (near Sacramento) and ends July 25 at the beautiful Gorge Amphitheatre in Quincy, Washington (between Seattle and Spokane).

Highlights of Train’s itinerary include a May 23rd concert at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, a May 29th gig at the Gexa Energy Pavilion in Dallas, a June 20th performance at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, and a July 3rd show at the First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park.

Also on board are The Fray and Matt Nathanson. 

The band wants you to do more than buy Train tickets and show up shortly before they take the stage.  They want you to arrive early.  

Before the concert begins there will be tailgating, a deejay, prize giveaways, and the recording of “Patcast,” Monahan’s weekly podcast.  Train’s lead singer will show up “periodically” throughout the tour.  It would be nice if Monahan showed up to every taping before every concert.  Yes, it’s a huge commitment, but it is his podcast and they are his fans.

Those arriving early can also enter a mermaid costume contest and possibly win a chance to join the band onstage.  The mermaid contest is inspired by the band’s 2012 single, “Mermaid.”   I imagine that in order to even be in the running you’ll have to be an out-of-shape hirsute man or a drop-dead gorgeous chick.

The mermaid contest is a great idea.  It’s certainly better than any contest the band could have made out their songs “Bruises,” “Son of a Prison Guard,” or “You Can Finally Meet My Mom.”

Participation in the contest is what Train needs more from their fans.  Well, maybe not more costume contests but certainly more of that kind of spirit.

Without a doubt, Train is one of the greatest bands to come out of the 1990s.  They’ve sold more than 10 million records, charted five albums inside the Billboard top ten, placed eight singles inside the Top 40, captured three Grammy Awards, and played to packed houses all over the world.

Their songs are easy to sing, easy to move to, and relatable.

Furthermore, Train is great live.  They have tons of charisma, their friendly, and have a great sense of humor.

Train released their first album in 1998.  If you look at other bands that debuted in the 1990s, Train either surpasses them or holds their own.  Yet, Train generally finds themselves looking up at groups like Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam, Green Day, Smashing Pumpkins, Weezer, Wilco, No Doubt, Blink-182, Foo Fighters, and The Black Eyed Peas.

Part of the reason why Train is the redheaded stepchild of rock is they didn’t ride the wave of teen-friendly subgenres like grunge, punk, alternative country, or hip hop.  The band’s egalitarian alt-rock vibe has created a huge and ardent fan base of thoroughly causal fans.

You won’t find many Train supporters on Twitter or Facebook writing disparaging remarks about the sexuality of Blink-182, Smashing Pumpkins, or some other band (not that I’m encouraging such a thing).

While Foo Fighters get choice gigs on cool late night talk shows and Saturday Night Live, Train is booked on programs like LIVE with Kelly and Michael, TODAY, The View, and Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld (which airs on Fox News).

The Black Eyed Peas and No Doubt have performed at the Super Bowl halftime show.  Train performed at the 2013 Pro Bowl.

Weezer fans won’t fight you if you disrespect Rivers Cuomo, but they will refuse to drive you to Anthropology in their Audi A3s.

Pearl Jam fans remain thick as thieves even though the band put them through hell while fighting Ticketmaster.  During that ridiculous stance, PJ fans had to endure concerts in cow pastures and Elk Lodges.

Broadway made a musical out of a Green Day album and their fans flocked to see it.  It was basically two hours of equity actors doing nothing but twitching and scowling like punk rock singers but it was enough to win a couple of Tonys.

Fans of Dave Matthews Band follow the group around North America so intently that they forget to shower.  Train fans can’t do that since they have to work the next day.

Train doesn’t need better songs or more dynamism in their live shows.  They don’t even need more fans.  They just need their current fans to be more vocal and spirited.

Train fans need to use the internet’s anonymity to tear down the band’s competitors.  Train fans need to get a few Drops of Jupiter tattoos.  Train fans need to invent some cute nickname for themselves (Trainers? Soul Sisters and Soul Misters? [I’m just spit balling here]).

Train fans need to put down the wine and chocolates (the band has their own line of both products), forget they’re mature members of civilized society, and start doing some obnoxious fanboy/fangirl stuff to promote their favorite band. 

A milquetoast fan base is the only thing separating Train from the other great bands of nineties. 

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Paramore Has A Problem And Her Name Is Hayley Williams

by Noiz 9. February 2015 17:50

Paramore Has A Problem And Her Name Is Hayley Williams

Don’t call it a tour.

It is a tour, but just don’t call it that.

Paramore’s lead singer, Hayley Williams, is calling each of the band’s upcoming tour stops “little event(s)” or “celebration(s).” 

Whatever Paramore wants to call it, it begins April 27 in Augusta, Georgia at the William B. Bell Auditorium.  It ends 16 performances later on May 25 at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, Oregon.

"It feels right to bring the Self-Titled era to a close...  So we've decided to do one last little run with it. Smaller shows, beautiful theaters... and we're not calling it a tour, by the way.  Each night will be a little event, or ... a celebration." — Paramore, via a statement

The 17-date non-tour is being dubbed “Paramore: Writing The Future.”  It will have everyone’s favorite power pop trio performing “an intimate evening of music.”

To warm up audiences, Paramore is bringing along alternative rockers Copeland. 

Besides ending the “Self-Titled era” (their fourth studio album was self-titled and dropped in 2013), there’s another reason why Paramore is visiting small venues like the Wang Theatre in Boston (capacity 3,500), the Beacon Theatre in New York City (2,894), and the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles (3,401). 

One of the largest venues on the band’s “it’s not a tour” itinerary is the Rosemont Theatre.  The facility is located in Rosemont, just northwest of Chicago, and seats around 4,400.  Paramore plays the Rosemont on May 3.

The band’s last outing, “The Self-Titled Tour,” spanned from mid-February 2013 to August of 2014.  The 2013 portion of that trek was the 132nd bestselling tour of North America.

Domestically, each Paramore tour-stop (more than 50) had an average gross of about $157,000.

To put that in perspective, U2 played Madison Square Garden on May 21, 2005 (the last time they played that venue).  That concert grossed $1.9 million.  When Paramore played there in 2013 they grossed just over $450,000.

On Oct. 30, 2013, Paramore played a gig at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis.  There were less than 2,000 people in attendance.  That was just six months after they celebrated a number one album!  They also played to less than capacity crowds in Dallas, Austin, Uncasville, and Nashville.

If I’m allowed to be cynical, the “intimate venues,” which is industry speak for “small,” has less to do with celebrating the end of the era and more to do with staying in the black.

Even so, Paramore will get a post-Grammy bump to help fill those intimate venues.

Bump comes not from winning their very first Grammy Award but from the ire it caused.

On the Facebook page belonging to heavy metal band Trapt (I’ve never heard of them either), the members posted a message derailing Paramore’s victory…

"The fact that Paramore won an award for Best Rock Song… shows you that there is a conspiracy going around to destroy the essence of what rock music is all about."

Trapt has never won, nor have they ever been nominated for, a Grammy. 

Trapt is fairly irrelevant but their snarky comments got some much needed press for both groups.

Paramore is not ruining rock and roll. 

They’re not ruining directly through their music nor are they ruining it indirectly through the NARAS’ (the people behind the Grammy Awards) awful classification system—remember they once gave Jethro Tull an award for “Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Vocal or Instrumental.”

Paramore’s problem is simple.  It is, and always has been, Hayley Williams.

The music industry has changed a lot in the past few decades and it has certainly changed a lot since 2005, the year Paramore released their first album.  Even so, the industry is still dependent on the media when it comes to categorizing its artists.

Paramore, because of Hayley Williams, is hard to categorize.

She’s too bright and perky to be Amy Lee and too loud and hard to be [insert name of young female singer who is popular this week].  Williams is a tweener. 

Williams looks like she should be singing Katy Perry songs but she fronts a band that sounds like Fall Out Boy.

Don’t get me wrong.  Hayley Williams is awesome.  She’s an amazing singer and songwriter but the media doesn’t know how to deal with her, and by extension, her band.

Now, you and I, who love music, and will spend the time to get to know a band, have no problem with Paramore or any other tweener.  The media, on the other hand, needs to describe an artist quickly and in as few words as possible.  Paramore throws them for a loop.

That’s why Paramore struggles to sell concert tickets.  They’re smack dab in the middle of the masculinity and femininity scale.  They’re too soft for most guys and not “girl power” enough for most gals.

Of course, you should forget all about musical “classifications” and just go see Paramore in concert.  They’re a fun band that sounds great live.  Who cares about all that other stuff?

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